Inside the Democratic Strategy on Mueller Day

"I felt like we did bring to life a very complex, 440-plus-page report," said Rep. Eric Swalwell

WASHINGTON — California Rep. Eric Swalwell can't quite say the Mueller hearings moved Democrats any closer to bringing an impeachment inquiry against the president, but he does think all the planning and coordination was worth it, to just get the special counsel on TV.

"This is America in the 21st century," he said. "Seeing is believing."

The former prosecutor was one of the key House Democrats who'd spent days preparing for Mueller's televised appearance before the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday. Swalwell sits on both committees, so he was shuttling between "rehearsals" in the days before the big event.

The plan was to create a kind of live reading of the 440-page Mueller report that would help sear its damning findings into the minds of Americans. Democrats on both committees rehearsed and coordinated, and the questions had to be crafted strategically to yield yes or no answers, since that's what Mueller famously does.

We trailed Swalwell to watch the planning behind the scenes — and get his assessment of how the hearings went.

This segment originally aired July 24, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.